17 April, 2008 – Northwest TV talent has the leading edge
TWO Northwest TV producers have clinched a prized place on a prestigious training course, designed to help them make their mark on future programmes.
Zoe Callan, of Heaton Mersey, Stockport, and Cybele Rowbottom, of East Didsbury, Manchester, beat off tough competition from TV professionals from around the country to secure their place on the Channel 4/Skillset initiative, Leading Edge.
“The Leading Edge training programme is an opportunity that freelance television producers like me only dream about, as more often than not we get our training ‘on the job’,” explains Cybele, who has spent the last seven years producing factual entertainment documentaries.
“I’m currently working with Manchester’s Lion Eyes Television on a behind-the-scenes documentary about Peter Kay’s Comic Relief hit singles, due to be aired as part of a Peter Kay night on Channel 4 later this year,” she explains. “Taking part in Leading Edge, though, will give me the opportunity to better understand network television and the future of broadcasting,” she adds.
The pioneering scheme will be delivered by The Research Centre (TRC), an independent charity working in partnership with international and UK broadcasters. Beginning on April 17, the nine-month long project will equip Zoe and Cybele with all the skills needed to become successful, cutting-edge TV series producers.
To enable them to take part in the initiative, the pair have each received funding of £10,000 from Northwest Vision and Media, which works on behalf of the region’s film, TV and digital content industries.
“Leading Edge is a brand new, high level training programme which aims to help network TV producers develop their skills to the levels needed to become a series producer,” explains Lynn Kelly, Training Manager at Vision and Media.
“Both Zoe and Cybele will now attend a series of Manchester and London-based masterclasses, specialist workshops and networking events over the next nine months.
“They’ll also be given the opportunity to shadow a Channel 4 commissioner for a week, giving them both a unique insight into the commissioner’s role and work – as well as offering an unprecedented chance to establish a working relationship with the people who actually make the decisions,” adds Lynn.
“I’m really excited about shadowing a Channel 4 commissioner for a week as this will give me access to the broadcaster’s perspective,” explains Cybele, who has previously worked on documentaries like The Joy of Curry for BBC 2, Stars Behind Bars for Channel 5 and the RTS award-winning, The Return of ‘Allo Allo! for BBC 2.
Zoe is equally thrilled to have been selected to take part in Leading Edge. “It’s a fantastic opportunity, and one I’m really looking forward to,” says Zoe, who has a diverse range of network credits across documentary, features and factual entertainment.
“I spent several years at the BBC in Manchester, producing over 40 live editions of The Heaven and Earth Show as well as directing a variety of single documentaries on subjects ranging from Bob Geldof’s split with Paula Yates to the impact of 9/11 on British Muslims.
“Since leaving the BBC in 2006 I’ve continued to build my production experience on programmes like Dispatches and 10 Years Younger, but I’m hoping the Leading Edge initiative will give me an even greater career boost,” she adds.
Both Zoe and Cybele will be sharing their training and development experiences on Leading Edge, with a monthly diary posted on the Northwest Vision and Media website.
Source: Northwest Vision + Media press release